Excited pupils and teachers attended the first day of a new school as it opened its doors for the first time for the September term.
Heathfield School in Beaulieu Drive, Pinner and Northwood College merged together to create Northwood College for Girls in Maxwell Road, Northwood as the latest school in the Girls’ Day School Trust’s (GDST) network.
On Thursday last week (September 4) 930 pupils walked through the doors for the first day of the September school term, there was an official ribbon cutting event and in attendance was Hillingdon borough, Deputy Mayor, Councillor George Cooper; Deputy Mayoress, Councillor Judith Cooper; Chair of School Governors, Mr Geoff Hudson; GDST Chief Executive, Helen Fraser and GDST Finance Director, Tom Beardmore-Gray.
Headmistress, Jacqualyn Pain said: “The merger has built upon the excellent academic and pastoral traditions two great schools. Both Northwood College and Heathfield School for Girls shared an educational vision based on raising girls’ aspirations and an academic curriculum based on GCSE/IGCSE and A Levels, enhanced and extended by complementary programmes for breadth, and thinking skills for depth.
“Good schools help their pupils to achieve the best possible grades but outstanding schools such as Northwood College for Girls do more than this, we will equip our girls with the knowledge, skills and love of learning that they need to exceed all expectations and truly flourish. Our team of specialist and experienced educators will identify the individual strengths of each girl, and work towards developing her raw talents by supporting, enthusing and challenging every step of the way.”
When the merger was announced last year, parents from Heathfield Girls School were unsure over the location change and the merge, a petition was set up to try and stop the schools combing.
It received nearly 500 signatures and on it, parents wrote: "This announcement has come as a complete shock to teachers, parents, and most importantly the girls currently studying there! GDST have thought it best to offer no consultative period to discuss this matter or dispel any concerns individuals may have prior to this announcement!"
The building in Beaulieu Drive has now been sold off, in a statement from Heathfield School, it said: “The GDST is delighted to announce that a sale has been completed for the purchase of Heathfield School by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), an executive agency of the Department for Education. While we cannot provide any details about the EFA’s plans for Heathfield, our understanding is that they wish to use the site to open a new school.”
Heathfield School was an independent day school for girls aged from three to 18. Founded in 1900, it moved to Pinner in 1982, and became a member of the GDST in 1987.
Miss Pain added: “Becoming a member of the GDST means that our teachers will benefit from the most up to date educational resources, training and support network; and that our girls will have the opportunity to become involved in a spectrum of scholarships and participate in a wide range of GDST learning initiatives and workshops.”
The girls from both schools have had opportunities to get to know one another over the past year with numerous events and activities with all age groups at both Northwood College and at Heathfield School.
Chair of Governors at Northwood College for Girls, Geoff Hudson said: “Northwood College for Girls will enable young people to achieve academic excellence within an intellectually dynamic environment, whilst developing the flexibility and initiative required in our rapidly changing world.
"With its focus on enterprise and leadership combined with a caring, supportive and happy environment, this excellent new school will provide every girl with a solid platform on which to build her future career.”